Posted 05 October 2017 - 06:45 AM
Finally, a journalist who gets it. All this while I've been seeing Korean journalists trying to chalk BTS' international and Western success up to simply being active on social media, posting videos on YouTube and even this ridiculous notion that Kpop is popular among Hispanics so since the percentage of the Hispanic population has risen in the US, it's a causal relation to BTS' popularity over there which is such a reach! They just didn't and couldn't understand why BTS are so successful. You can't summarize it in just one point or a sole factor. Because many other groups share some of the same characteristics too but what makes BTS stand out?
I've often seen fans mocking other groups by saying that their bias groups offer quality over quantity, as if one is indisputably better than the other, but why do those two things have to be mutually exclusive? BTS have proved otherwise. They were able to successfully provide quality AND quantity to their fans and that is the best combination you can offer to your followers.
It wasn't JUST social media activities. It was the quality of the content they provided which they were able to do so frequently and consistently. Because if all it took for a group to gain a massive following was to post multiple selcas, then every one of them would've been equally as influential. Besides building a strong bond with their fans by sharing aspects of their lives with us through social media and live streams, they also release good content for free. The music, the covers, the mixtapes that they've published for not even a single cent are not a downgrade of their official releases. They're damn good music that makes you WANT to pay for them and regret not being able to purchase them. The topics they sing about are so relatable too and you get to learn even more about their personal stories and struggles when you break down their lyrics. It was also through BTS that I and I'm sure many other fans also learnt bits and pieces of their culture and some historical events that happened in their country. I don't just feel like I'm bopping to them. I feel like I'm learning something from them too.
For people who think it's just social media that's the key behind everything, why do you think that while there are quite a few huge and powerful fandoms in Kpop, that ARMYs are the ones who gained a notorious reputation for roaching and promoting BTS everywhere and bringing them up in every conversation, online or offline? What drives this particular fandom to pull out all the stops and do anything we can to make sure that many other people would be exposed to BTS? What makes us so shameless in promoting our faves even in places that don't warrant such a discussion? It can't just be endless lazy spamming on social media by BTS that have turned us this way.
BTS haven't even started official promotions in the US yet and they've been making even bigger inroads into the market even without being mainstream. No one said they're going to be the next Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran, lol, and they don't have plans to be anyway, but you can't deny that their journey upwards in the West is quite admirable for Kpop. Makes for a great story!